Living Organically In South Korea: A Guest Blog By Lae Dee Song

I am so excited for my very first guest blog post, featuring Lae Dee Song from 7 Seasons Style! She is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger who just happens to also be living in South Korea….blogging brought us together. She is a great resource and friend. She has done a great job with this post and I am so happy to share it with you. Together we can all work towards a healthier lifestyle.


Gachi CSA
Gachi CSA

I get asked this question a lot, so here are some resources to keep and share with others who live in Korea, regarding buying locally organic produce to support a healthy lifestyle in the new year.


After a lot of research regarding the benefits of organically grown produce over its commercially grown counterpart, my husband and I decided to take baby steps and transition over to an organic diet. First it was the lettuce, fruits, and veggies that aren’t peeled. They have the highest pesticide exposure. Then we moved to eggs (non-GMO feed and free range). After about 6 months we started purchasing most of our fruits and veggies locally and organic.

Isn’t it expensive? Fresh fruit and produce in Korea are already expensive. When you take advantage of the memberships below you’ll see that the prices aren’t that different from conventional grocery stores. By making the switch, little by little, we didn’t notice a huge increase in our normal food budget. However, since we know it is a bit more expensive, we buy smaller amounts frequently and don’t have as much waste. We know this is an investment in our long term health and minimizing the level of exposure to pesticides will have a great benefit in the future. It wasn’t as difficult as we expected it to be, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. I’ve adjusted my cooking skills, and we’ve learned to eat foods in seasons.

Where can I buy organic food in Korea? Eating organically or even thinking about finding organic foods in a foreign country can be daunting. I love online shopping and grocery delivery and have found a few gems that will assist you in your drive to eating better and taking care of yourself.

Hansalim 한살림

Hansalim

I have been a member of Hansalim for about 6 years now. They partner with local organic farms to sell from the farmer to the customer. They inspect the farms to make sure they meet their standards, and will stop selling products that are not up to par. There is an English portion of the website so you can download the application form and take it into a local branch. There is a small, one time membership fee when joining. You will also save points with every purchase that can be cashed out later. When you order groceries, the website is in Korean so you will need basic skills to navigate it. Just think of all the new words you’ll learn in Korean. 🙂 They have local shops all over Korea so there is probably one in your neighborhood.

Gachi CSA (formerly WWOOF)

gachi csa

If you want a fully English option to purchase locally grown organic, try Gachi CSA. They are a community shared agriculture group that works with small scale, family owned, organic farms in the Gyeonggi-do region of Korea. Their program allows you to subscribe to a produce box that will be delivered every week. The only downfall is you can’t pick and choose what produce you receive, so you have to get creative with your menu. There are details of their boxes online and they update their Facebook page regularly with what you can expect to get. You can add on items to your box, such as meat, bread, or snacks. If you don’t think you can eat a full box of veggies every week, split the subscription with a friend or neighbor. Gachi also offers day trips to the farms where you can learn how to plant, grow, and harvest your own foods. They are doing some great things in Korea to bridge the gap between farmer and consumer, so check them out.

couples basket CSA
Couples basket from the Gachi CSA program

Iherb

This is a lifesaver for westerners who live abroad. Seriously. This website specializes in vitamins, supplements, organic snacks, spices, canned goods, body care, and everything in-between. It has made living in a foreign country so much easier. The worldwide shipping is cheap (usually about 4 bucks to Korea) or free if you spend a certain amount. We buy canned organic tomatoes, dried organic beans, seasonings, and vitamins. If you are reading this, check out the website and see if they ship to you. Feel free to use my code “DAD206” for first time buyer discounts or shipping offers.

randoms oct 2013 498-01

Those are my 3 gems to buying organic while living in Korea. Are there any other sites you use? Let me know in the comments below. Thank you Lisa for letting me take over and do a guest post 🙂 If you want to know more about my life in Korea, pop over to my fashion, beauty, and lifestyle website 7 Seasons Style.

LaeDee

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